When I am working with a young child I draw faces as seen in this picture to help the child identify and express emotion. The child circles the face(s) that best represent how they are feeling that day.
northland/n. the northern part of a country (Definition courtesy of the Microsoft College Dictonary)
Today I was fresh out of ideas for photos. Coming up with ideas every day for the next year is going to be hard, if I may state the obvious.
I turned to my ever helpful Facebook community, and my friend from the FilthEDesign blog, suggested that I turn to a page in the dictionary, choose a word and then take a picture that shows my interpretation of the word. I thought that sounded like a fine idea.
I often think of North as being up. If fact that is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear or see the word North.
The land (or country if you prefer to go with the true definition of the word) I was in at the time was my bedroom.
Thus my photographic interpretation of Northland. What I saw when I looked up in my bedroom.
I took this shot very quickly on auto-mode tonight. I only enhanced a bit and did some cropping.
I rather enjoy what I see as a very slightly moody ceiling fan. Not at all displeased with my slightly quirky photo.
So BlogHer has asked me to answer a question on my little ol' blog here about what I plan to do to get Happy in 2012.
(Does anyone else have the the theme song to the Partridge Family in their head now? No? Just me? Well I will HAPPILY enjoy this little ear worm all on my own.)
As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor I spend a fair amount of time discussing the idea of being happy. I spend a lot of time working to help other people feel happier than they did when they first walked in to my office (hopefully).
As a wife and mother I spend a fair amount of my non-working time trying to assure that the people in my home are happy.
What I don't spend much time on is my personal happiness.
Like anyone else I think about what makes or would make me feel happy. However, I am much more likely to put my own get happy pursuits aside so that I can attend to the happiness pursuits of others.
The above mentioned practice can bite one in the butt from time to time.
In 2011 I was not particularly inclined to make up yet another set of resolutions or goals that I wasn't likely to keep. Of course I need to eat better , exercise more, be more patient, blah blah blah. I just was not feeling the self-improvement thing AT ALL.
I had decided to forgo resolutions in 2011.
Then I ha a manicure on January 1, 2011. It made me very happy.
So right then and there I decided my new years resolution was to have my nails done twice a month. Only resolution I have ever kept.
A couple of days after the start of 2012, I got the e-mail asking me to write a post on what I was going to do to get happy in 2012.
My first thought, "I have no idea, so can I have a different question please?"
Then, I let the question percolate for a bit. Spent some quality time thinking about when I am the most happy. That led to me thinking about the resolutions I had made for myself this year, and the one successful resolution I kept the previous year.
I based this year's resolution loosely on the success of keeping the one from the previous year. I kept the 2011 resolution because it because it was fun, relaxing, just for me, and made me feel happy.
I started thinking more about what makes me happy in general. This led to the realization that I am most happy when I am learning something. I love to learn. It makes me happy and fulfilled to gain new skills. Since finishing graduate school and working on building my career as a therapist I have spent a lot of time focusing my learning on how to continue to be a better and more effective therapist. I have a crazy long alphabet soup list of initials after my name showing off all the additional credentials I have earned since finishing my MA. After I finished the requirements for the most recent addition to my credential collection, I looked at that crazy long list, and decided that perhaps it was time to cool my jets on the credentials front for a while.
That idea sent me into a bit of a tailspin. I was like an academic Scarlett O'Hara after Rhett told her he was out of there. "Whatever will I do? What shall I learn? How am I supposed to be functioning without some big career/academic related goal looming in the distance?"
So being a good therapist I processed my thoughts and feelings for awhile, and finally hit on the idea that perhaps I could now focus on learning some things that were just for my own pleasure, and had no ties whatsoever to credentials, academics, or career. All those things I have said for years that I would like to learn how to do.
I really liked this line of thinking.
So I picked one. I wanted to learn how to be a better photographer and make use of the fancy camera I purchased for myself almost two years ago, and still use as though it was a disposable point and shoot.
I decided that was going to be my goal for the new year.
That initially was as far as I got. Y'know the holidays are busy, I kinda had a crappy month of December, blah blah blah.
Then a few days before the New Year, a friend posted on Facebook that he was going to do Project 365, which involves taking a picture every day for a year. He was challenging others to join him.
I thought about it for about 10 seconds and agreed right there in front of everyone on Facebook that I would take a picture every day in the year 2012 AND to sweeten the deal I would post those daily pictures on my blog!
After a moment of thinking, "Oh crap, I will NEVER keep up with this!" I shrugged off the negative and got really excited about the prospect. I felt...wait for it.....
This was a fun resolution! I was going to love it! Hooray!
One week in and I am keeping up nicely. My goal for the first was to focus on just getting the picture taken every day. Soon I will move in to learning and trying out new photography skills and I am really enthused about the prospect!
So in a nutshell, to get happy in 2012 I am learning for just me, myself, and I.
I encourage all of you to process the thought, "What makes me truly feel happy?" Then take that newfound or just dusted off information and put it to good use.
I further encourage all of you to share your thoughts and plans in the comments section. See what other people are doing to get happy at the Life Well Lived Blog.
Oh and hey, if getting cool free stuff makes you happy, then I encourage you to hop on over to this link for the Blogher Life Well Lived Sweepstakes and register to win a Kindle Fire.
So this year strive to live up to the Partridge Family theme song and, "C'mon get haaaappppyyyy!"
Movie, Popcorn, Soda, Dinner, and we only spent $10 out of our own pockets.
Not too shabby.
As for the photo, I think I would like to work on taking better focused close-up shots. For this photo I used some pre-programmed settings for close up objects. Not a terrible picture, but a tad blurry and slightly out of focus. Guess it is time to start reading up on my Digital Photography School stuff.
So far so good with getting at least a photo a day.
Since I tend to be a mostly full disclosure kind of gal, I will admit that I nearly forgot today, what with working and then being out with my best husband.
So I might have been scrambling at 10:00 PM trying to think of and set up a shot.
The alternate title for this picture was, "Patience."
#2 has been very patient awaiting the chance to use the new telescope she got for Christmas. Between the whole family falling ill in the three days that followed Christmas and cloudy night skies, this has been the first opportunity.
Also, focusing a telescope takes time.
I was excited to use Night Mode on the camera, and get a picture that didn't blur since I was too lazy to set up the tripod.
I decided this year, I will move forward with my goal to learn more about photography. I bought myself a lovely DSLR about a year and a half ago, and I don't know much more about the thing now than I did when I first got it. That is a shame and a waste.
So! A friend mentioned that he was going to partake in project 365 this year and I decided that would be an excellent way for me to get more out of this fancy camera I thought I needed so badly.
I decided to jump right in and took my first photo for the project last night a few minutes after midnight. This picture would be a pretty good example of typical photography for me.
I look forward to (hopefully) more interesting and better quality photos by this time next year!